Mark Wakeford

Megan Stowe

Charles Mindenhall

Public Procurement Briefing 2012
9th March, Westminster

Set over the course of a day, the programme included policy and strategy briefings, provocations, best practice and practical workshops. Please click here to read further information about the day and its objectives.

8.30 | VIP Breakfast

9.30 | Registration and morning coffee
A chance to network with speakers and fellow delegates ahead of the first main session.

10.00 | Introduction and Welcome
Following the Chair’s introduction the Minister welcomed delegates at the outset of the event and outlined the purpose and importance of this conference agenda.

  • Chair: Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive, RSA
  • Rt Hon Francis Maude MP, Minister for the Cabinet Office

10.20 | Plenary 1: Inspiring a New Culture – Provocations and Panel Discussion
The opening session challenged delegates to think about why a new culture for procurement is needed, hearing about the real challenges and opportunities  faced by new ways of valuing contract bids, understanding risk, and taking into account smaller, more agile, and more innovative suppliers.

The format of the plenary included a set of provocations and responses  from leading voices from Government and supplier side as well as from outside the UK who will each provide a short perspective on one or more key assumptions made about public sector purchasing.


  • Liam Maxwell, Director, ICT Futures, Cabinet Office
  • Dr Mark Thompson, Cambridge Judge Business School
  • John Collington, Chief Procurement Officer, Efficiency and Reform Group
  • Sean Allam, Head of Product Sourcing and Services, John Lewis Partnership
  • Stephen Allott, Crown Representative for SMEs
  • Lord Young, Prime Minister’s advisor on enterprise

11:00 | Coffee and Networking

11.30 | Plenary 2: Best Practice

The second plenary session presented best practice and solutions which have been developed to overcome barriers to SME procurement, with lessons and advice from the public and private sector, and an examination of the benefits resulting from procuring more from SMEs.


  • (Chair) Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive, RSA
  • Brian Deveney, Head of Procurement, Post Office
  • Charles Mindenhall, Chairman, Agilisys
  • Mark Wakeford, Managing Director, Stepnell
  • Megan Stowe, Global Strategic Procurement Manager, Intel

1.00 | Lunch and Networking

2.00 | Breakout Workshops
The breakout workshops offered delegates the opportunity to break into smaller groups to focus in more depth on key practical challenges being faced. They provided an opportunity for delegates to address particular concerns and issues they are grappling with and to explore solutions looking at best practice for implementing specific goals.

Workshop topics:

  • Risk Aversion and Harnessing Innovation
  • Supply Chains: Prompt Payment for SME Suppliers
  • EU Myth Busting
  • Framework Agreements

15.30 | Afternoon Tea and Networking

16.00 | Plenary 3: A new future for public procurement
The final session responded to key issues raised during the day, summarising common challenges, new opportunities and potential solutions for driving a new culture of innovation and enterprise with SMEs. The session began with three brief conclusions from each workshop on the key barriers faced by civil services at key stages in the procurement process.

This was followed by a keynote from John Collington, who set out the successes of the Government’s programme so far and looked ahead to the challenges and opportunities to come.


  • (Chair) Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive, RSA
  • John Collington, Chief Procurement Officer, Efficiency and Reform Group

16.45 | Conference Close